El Greco

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

El Greco has painted ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz’ (1586-88) on a canvas with a woven pattern.
(not to scale)
The painting is located in ‘The Church of São Tomé’ in Toledo
handwoven reconstruction of the canvas at Lab O

The story:

El Greco painted The Burial of the Count of Orgaz on a canvas with a pattern. I did not know that until a Spanish visiter came to my atelier in 2015. 

In a project that originated in the ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur Programme’ we had started to weave painters canvas with a pattern.

It was  my curiosity to know why painters canvas is always in plain weave, as I thought, and I was convinced that a pattern in the first layer of a painting should be of influence.

I found in the internet this Spanish tesis

When I saw there the weaving draft of the canvas as used by El Greco, my heart made a little jump: I knew immediately that I could reconstruct that pattern on my hand loom and I also felt that it would have a great impact to do so.

Later I applied for a copy of this publication where thread count of warp and weft of the canvas was given. 

source: ICCROM library:
’Informes y trabajos del Instituto
de conservación restauración de obras de arte 1977 n 13’ Church of Santo Tomé in Toledo. The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586)

Weaving draft, computer generated in Weavelt, a handweaving design software program.

On this AVL Compu Dobby loom, connected to a Mac Plus device, I have woven the reconstruction of the canvas in linen.